Good as Gone
By: Amy Gentry
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: 7/26/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic—but Anna, Julie's mother, has whispers of doubts. She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.
Propulsive and suspenseful, Good as Gone will appeal to fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, and keep readers guessing until the final pages.
Austin Chronicle Review:
Good as Gone: A Novel of Suspense Amy Gentry's page-turning thriller is set apart by its realistic and empathetic portrayal of abuse victims and their families. Read More
A special thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Amy Gentry delivers a gripping twisty debut GOOD AS GONE,a kidnapped girl, has been missing for eight years,and shows up at her parent’s doorstep. Questions: Where has she been and is she the person she says she is? Julie Whitaker, a thirteen- year- old girl was abducted in a Houston home. Her younger sister, ten years old, Jane, witnessed the kidnapping and hid in a closet. She was in shock waited for hours before telling her parents. Traumatized. Since this time, life has never been the same for the Whitaker family. Anna, the mother tells the story of how she lost her daughter. Really, she has lost both her daughters in one single night. The night everything changed. Even though Julie had been gone for eight years, Anna the mother knows has been dead much longer, each time she steps out the door. By the time they knew Julie was gone, her fate was sealed. Now Anna wants something to bury. Closure. She is tired of being in limbo. One day out of nowhere, Julie shows up on their doorstep. A human trafficking ring.
A joyous homecoming? The novel slowly unravels the emotion and feelings from Anna the mother, the sister left behind, and the father Tom. From sexual abuse, foster homes, forced prostitution, living on the streets, plus more. Julie was violated. They never gave up. Tom, the father does not want to hear. Julie slowly begins to tell her story. From simple things like shopping, Anna tries to connect with her daughter. She is not the same person. Too much has happened. She has no clothes. The missing years. If only they could go back. However, Julie's story seems unreliable. Could this be an imposter? How does she know about their family? They want to believe, this is their daughter. Now there is doubt. Things are not the same. Anna can only hope this is really her daughter. If not, who is this person who has come into their lives? How does she know about them? An intense saga, centered around the Whitaker family—they are devastated. Things can change in eight years—from trauma and deep dark secrets. The younger sister, Jane feels guilty as well as the entire family. However, too much as happened. Nothing is as is was. Can they ever be the same? Their relationship is strained. Julie has been physically and mentally abused. Is she being honest? Told from multiple POV: Anna, Julie, and Jane. From rape, held captive, drug lords, a compound. Can she come back and pick up her life as normal? Do they really know the girl who was taken years before? How did she survive? Why did she not come back sooner? Smartly executed, the author keeps you glued to the pages, as the truth is slowly revealed with twists and turns. From mega church, to religion, and the bonds of mother-daughter, and identity.A domestic suspense drama--From an emotional roller coaster, mystery, psychological suspense to intrigue. In addition to the advanced reading copy, I also listened to the audiobook, narrated by Karen Peakes for a captivating performance! Looking forward to more from this talented author!
About the Author
Amy Gentry lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two cats. After graduating in 2011 with a PhD in English from the University of Chicago, she began a freelance writing career, writing book reviews, cultural criticism, and, for one strange and wonderful year, a fashion column. She frequently reviews fiction for the Chicago Tribune Printer’s Row Journal, and her writing has appeared in Salon.com, xoJane, The Rumpus, the Austin Chronicle, the Texas Observer, LA Review of Books, Gastronomica, and the Best Food Writing of 2014. GOOD AS GONE, her first thriller, is set in her hometown of Houston, Texas. Read More